Morhange (Lorraine, France)
Morhange (German, Mörchingen), a town (1957 pop. 1,914; 1999 pop. 4,050) in Lorraine, France, 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Metz, was the seat of a small Mennonite congregation, which was founded about 1720 by Alsatian Mennonites of Swiss Amish descent after the Mennonites had been expelled from Alsace in 1712 by decree of Louis XIV. The Morhange congregation was never very large and was further weakened by emigration to America in the early 19th century. Nevertheless it built a small meetinghouse in 1856 near the town and a cemetery on the Hinsingen estate near Gros-Tenquin, the home of elder Joseph Hirschy. About 1893 they were joined by the families of the Dieuze congregation who lived on the German side of Lorraine, while those living on the French side joined the Nancy congregation. Nevertheless the membership showed a steady decline, chiefly because the families were small. Early in World War I bloody battles were fought near Morhange; when peace came there was no minister left. Services were, however, begun again, conducted in French by visiting ministers. In 1940 the membership (children included) numbered 35. Charles Baechler (died 1952) was ordained minister in 1939, but there was no elder in the congregation after World War I, the congregation being served by elders from Toul, Sarrebourg, and Montbéliard. Meetings ceased at the beginning of World War II (1939). During the war the chapel was damaged and was not repaired (as of 1955). The remaining members joined either Diesen or Pont-a-Mousson, a branch of Toul.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 752. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Sommer, Pierre and John Howard Yoder. "Morhange (Lorraine, France)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M67085.html.
APA style: Sommer, Pierre and John Howard Yoder. (1957). Morhange (Lorraine, France). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M67085.html.